Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my website not show up in Google?

My website does very well on other search engines, like Yahoo and MSN, but it's nowhere to be found on Google.  Am I being penalised?

Firstly, it is important to understand that all the search engines develop their own algorithms, which are constantly being updated and tweaked in an attempt to improve the results they offer.  Ranking highly on Yahoo for a given phrase is no guarantee that the website will achieve the same or even similar results on other search engines.  Similarly, if a website does manage to achieve a top result for a given search on any search engine, it would be short sighted indeed to assume that it will remain highly ranked for that search term.  The changes in the algorithms can cause dramatic changes in the SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages).

Sites don't get banned or penalised unless something has been done in an attempt to deceive or manipulate the natural search results.  Typical attempts at deception include hiding content on the page and/or keyword stuffing, or attempts to artificially inflate link popularity.  Rest assured, if you don't make any attempt to deceive the search engines, or fool them into giving you a higher rank for a given phrase, then you have no need to worry about penalties.

Given the constantly shifting algorithms, and constant influx of new and updated page content on other sites, the best advice is to optimise your site for lots of related phrases.  This improves the sites chances of ranking highly for a selection of search terms, not just one.  Also, the search engines will respond favourably to seeing lots of related phrases and terms.  Any quality content page that discusses a subject will include a good selection of terms related to that subject.  For example, if Google is attempting to determine the subject of one of your content pages, it will be better able to do so if it detects a selection of common phrases that are frequently used when talking about that subject.

This principle is commonly referred to as either Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA), or Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI).

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Comments »

November 14, 20099:56 PM
I liked the information at your site. I am developing several websites and have been trying to figure out what is the best way to Search Engine Optimization. SEO can be very confusing and after reading your site left me a little more informed. Thanks
November 15, 200910:51 AM
Thanks Debra!

It's true, there's so much information out there on SEO, it can become confusing. The truth though, is that it's all really quite simple, and fairly obvious stuff.

Best of luck with your sites!
June 14, 201010:00 PM
I get the fact that yahoo and bing are different than google, but I still don't know how get indexed in the search listings on google without using quotation marks (we are indexed if you use quotation marks!)... anyone have a guess? Thanks!
June 14, 201011:50 PM
Hi Mitchell

Your site has been indexed by Google. It shows 68 pages indexed to be specific. You can check this using the "site:" directive. ie. In a google search box, type:

It might not be ranking very well, but it's definitely indexed.
July 10, 20102:56 PM
I have a similar problem, I created a website about two weeks ago but can only find it on the web by typing in the URL. I have used the method above to try and see if it has been indexed, but can not find it their either. How do I get my site indexed? I have listed many keywords as meta tags and have started to submit my site to some of the search engines but still can not find my site. Thanks
July 10, 20105:21 PM
Hi Retha

I've checked your site, which I see is a Joomla based site. You might want to improve your home page title which is currently just "Home", and the same for the other pages too.

You also have some redundant meta tags there, such as the robots tag. You don't need to use this if you want the page indexed and for the bots to follow links on the page.

As for why it's not been indexed yet, I can't see any reason why it wouldn't be. If it's a very new site, just about the only thing that would help it to get indexed a little faster is if there were links to the site from other sites on the web. The hope would be that Google would follow the links from the other sites and discover your site. This is Google's preferred method of finding and indexing new sites.

Even if you do nothing, you should find that it is indexed within the next 2 - 4 weeks maximum, which is about as long as it can take to happen.

Hang in there!
John Bona said,
December 18, 201011:43 AM
I have a website but can only find it on the web by typing in the URL. I have used the method above to try and see if it has been indexed, but can not find it. How do I get my site out there? where do I listed keywords?
March 04, 20117:07 PM
I love it when a post on SEO is as informative as this. Thank you so much. :)
March 09, 201110:11 PM
Hi, so my site,, was climbing steadily in the Serps, then disappeared yesterday. I run RankChecker, and it's not in Google at all. Not on page 1, page 10, or any page at all-it's blank. I checked Google analytics, and it shows I've gotten 0 visits since I put it up-a big flat line. So I knew something was wrong, and yes, I never installed the analytics code. Do you think this is the problem? What else could make a site completely disappear? The site is still indexed...
March 17, 201110:09 AM
at least l managed to see that my site has been indexed, so l guess its a question of improving ranking
April 13, 20111:50 AM
Hi, My friend created a website today and we are not able to find it on google search. I am not able to find it in google by even searching for the complete URL. But I can open the website by the URL in browser. Also the site does not have much information on it yet, just a small contact us box. Any help is appreciated. Thanks, Abhi
April 13, 20119:41 AM
Hi Abhi

If the site is very new, you could try using the tool at

Google will likely pick your site up in time, but it will happen faster if there are links to your site from other websites.

- Mark
April 14, 201112:06 AM
Hi Mark, Thanks for the prompt reply. I had already added the website the above URL and still my website does not show up in google. Not even when I paste the URL of my website in google. Right now my website is still complete and has just a small form to contact me. Also does the crawl of the website in the googles index search depends on the traffic that my website it getting, cause as of now its just me thats visiting the website. Thanks for all the information Mark, Abhi
April 14, 201112:37 AM
Hi Abhi

The thing to remember about Google is that it's a crawler based search engine. That means it's preferred method of finfing new content & pages is by following links to those pages. If you're site is brand new or has no inbound links, it can take longer for Google to find and index it.

I don't think you have anything to worry about if it's a brand new site. Just be extra patient.

- Mark
May 09, 20117:52 PM

I created my Blog about 2 weeks ago and it is still not indexed, hence reason for no traffic! Can you help please? I have added the relevant metatags. The site is:

Thank you.
May 09, 201111:28 PM
Hi Sophia

2 things about your site are slightly different from the norm.

The first thing I notice is that your site is declared as HTML 5. I would assume this is no problem at all for Google, but I can't be certain as it's a Beta document type.

The other thing I notice is that your site at the address is just a frameset that loads your content from a .com address. That's not so good. It would be better to have the address use a 301 redirect to the true address to avoid any canonical URL issues. That said, Google won't be able to index your site at the address in the normal way, and it's not the address you should use to market your site as it stands, because that's not where your site resides.

I also notice that your home page title and description are extremely poor. The title is just the web address, and the description is the same without the hyphens. There's no real description at all of what a user will find on your home page. I didn't check, but I assume that will be the same throughout your site?

I'm sorry if any of this appears confusing. I can see you've spent a great deal of time and effort on this site. Please feel free to call me directly during office hours and I'll happily explain and walk you through the issues I found.

Mark McNeece.
June 03, 20114:10 PM
I need an explanation about the url of my website.
June 03, 20114:39 PM
Hi Sigit,

Your website has been well indexed by Google. I'm not familiar with your language, but it looks like most of your pages have a very similar meta description. Each page should have a unique Title as well as a unique Meta Description that describes what a user will find on that page if he visits it.

Do you have any specific problems or questions?

August 26, 20118:00 PM
Hi, I have a problem being found on google, yahoo and bing. All 3 of which i have given my details too. Even when i put the Http in nothing comes up. Is there anything i can do to improve being found? Thank you for your help

August 26, 20118:41 PM
Hello Erica

I've had a quick look at your site. It looks like you've built your site using the Mr Site system. Is that right?

The Mr Site system is potentially fine, although not great for SEO purposes. There's a few things about your site that would be improved by an SEO service, like page titles, meta descriptions, keywords, etc... however, I suspect your site is just very new. When did it launch? Within the last 6 weeks? If that's the case, you need to be patient and wait, or speed it along by getting some inbound links to your site.

I did also notice something wrong in your HTML source, but it's not something that would prevent your site from being indexed. You have a 1 pixel image tied to a Mr Site hit counter mechanism that actually falls outside of your closing HTML tag. Whilst this shouldn't prevent the site from being indexed, it will be flagged as a poorly constructed site and almost guarantee your site gets hit by the sandboxed effect.

Otherwise, you're site looks nice, for a budget site.

Feel free to give me a call (details on contact page) if you would like to have a quick chat about your site.

November 11, 201112:38 AM
I have made a quick website for my nephew and put it on google and it flashed upp for a few days and climbed to 2nd position and the totaly dissapeared, i have waited now 6 months and still the same ?? Can you have a look and try and point me in the right direction because it has totally lost me, i know a little bit about website but consider myself a novice
November 11, 20119:38 AM
Hi Brendan

Google often favours new sites / pages for short time when they are just launched.

I'm not sure what you would like to hear to be honest? There's a number of things about the site that are not quite right. You have canonical URL issues (there's more than 1 URL for your home page); I found an tag in your home page source but cannot find the text on the page - is it cloaked? How many back links does the site have?

Sorry I can't give you just 1 specific answer. It rarely works that way. To do well on Google there's a number of things you need to do correctly. Plus of course, how well your site ranks will depend on not just the content on your site, but the competition too and a number of off-page factors.

November 14, 20112:12 AM
Hi Mark

Yes i googled what you meant (canonical URL issues) you see i made the site with webeden and they recently changed there consul and ive been right through it and there used to be a section where you could oint your domain name to a choice of 3 ....http://address or http://www. and another way but i cant get the choices up anymore ?? how would i solve that problem ??

November 14, 201112:28 PM
Hi Brendan

Sorry, I'm not familiar with "webeden". So I checked out their site and support system. It doesn't look like there is any mechanism for addressing canonical URL issues. In fact, I noticed they actually gave instructions on creating multiple DNS 'A' records which will actually cause part of the problem.

I suspect your not going to be in a position to do anything about the problem, but webeden themselves are the people you need to talk to about it. I would be interested to know how you get on though?

November 16, 201111:08 AM
Just to get back to you on this problem i think ive sorted it, ive done what it says, i googled the problem, so im gona paste it below for anyone else to see

This is called a ‘canonical issue’, and creates a problem for search engines. And if search engines have a problem with you then they’re less likely to rank your website highly.

The problem is this.

Because your homepage exists on two different URLs, Google isn’t sure which is your ‘main’ homepage. Therefore, when deciding where to rank your website in the Search Engine Results Page, it dithers between the two, and ranks both – but very low down.

The links on your website serve as pointers to direct search engines around your website. The page with the most links pointing to it is usually the homepage. But if your homepage is basically split into two different places, half the links will probably point to one, and the rest to the other. This means that ‘power’ of those links is split in two – effectively halved.

There is a solution to this problem (that you didn’t know you had!)

What you need to to is to designate 1 version of your homepage as the ‘main’ one, and automatically point all the link power from the other to the main one.

In order to do this you need to buy a domain name, or use the domain you’ve already registered. When setting up your domain name to be your main website address (IE getting rid of the ‘’ bit) you go to:

Admin –> Site addresses –>Add site address

The dialogue box looks like this:

Enter your domain name here as your site address. BUT make sure you enter it both WITH and WITHOUT the ‘www’ on two separate lines. Then all you need to do is designate one version – the WWW one – as your main ‘preferred’ site address.

Once this is done, anyone and any search engine trying to get on your website by typing your domain name with the ‘WWW’ will automatically be forwarded to the version with the ‘WWW’

And thats it.

December 13, 20113:31 AM
Hi I need help badly! I have been trying to understand this SEO thing and tried re-writing my web, using some key words, etc. The problem: I want search engine (esp google and yahoo) to be able to pick up query on "Physics Tuition" but it is not doing so. Other words are OK, such as "H2 Physics", "JC physics Tuition" and so on. Can someone help, please. Thanks.
December 13, 20113:33 AM
Sorry, in my last post, I forgot to let everyone know that my website is HTTP://H2PHYSICS.BLOGSPOT.COM Very much appreciate it if anyone can help...
December 13, 201110:35 AM
Hi Daniel

A blog site is subtly different from an ordinary website (brochure type website) in the way information and content is presented.

I think you would be better served with a brochure style website.

However, I checked to see how often your key phrase appears on your home page. It's just 6 times. With all the content you have on your home page, that means your key phrase isn't really standing out as being the main focus of the page. As I said though, as it's a blog site, I think you'll struggle to achieve the right level of keyword density.

It might help a little to mention it in your meta description though, which is currently blank.

All the best,
May 15, 20126:28 PM
Hello Friends, i have 2 years old aged website that is PR3. Had good position in search engine but from about 15 days it does not appear in google search results at any google search page. please i want to know what happend to my website. any one help me please
May 15, 20126:33 PM
Hello Abbas

Given the recent Google updates, there's a good chance the problem is all the adverts you have before your content. Google is now actively penalising sites that fail to provide unique and engaging content above the fold and before the bulk of the advertising.

That's my best guess based solely on a first glance.

May 16, 20126:36 AM
I was surprised to search for my newly created website with some unique keywords and even the url, and not be in the results AT ALL! It is not a site with advertisements designed to generate revenue, it is a site to inform our clients and their families, and to allow our referral partners to know the scope of our services and appropriately pair us with their clients. Since the site itself is not responsible for driving our client base, is it important to be listed on Google? If so, how can I make that happen?
May 16, 20126:58 AM
Hi Kimberly

True, your site has not been indexed by Google at all, not yet anyway. I've checked to see if there's anything preventing it from being indexed and there doesn't appear to be. So, it will be indexed sooner or later. Unfortunately, there's no way to know exactly when. It can take anything from a few hours (luck of the draw), up to 6 - 8 weeks. It will happen though, honest.

Whether or not being in Google is important to you, I guess only you could answer that? I would suggest it would probably be helpful for people checking what treatments you offer, or even just for people checking your contact details?

It's a smart looking site, though!

Mark McNeece
May 16, 20125:26 PM
Hello Mark Thanks for your suggestion. Please visit my website and give me tips to improve it. i am very thank full to you. Regards Abbas Ahmad
June 05, 20127:22 PM
Hello, Mark Thanks for the information, my site doesn't appear in Google Search. I have done everything, site appearance, Google Sitemap to reconsideration request, everything is okay, it has been indexed (Google said) but when I type my article in Google Search, there is no any result. Can you please tell me, what's wrong with this? It never happen before Thanks
June 19, 20126:16 PM
Hi Mark I am also having the same problem, having done all I think I can with google to try and get my web site noticed, still no luck at all, when I put in my web address it comes up with nothing. Any ideas most welcome, I am being driven round the bend and have an advert coming out in a magazine this Friday so getting frantic. Many Thanks Antonia
June 19, 20126:22 PM
Hi Antonia

Your site is not well constructed to be honest, but nothing that would cause a problem for Google indexing at least the home page when it gets around to visiting it.

I'm assuming it's a new site as it's not been indexed at all yet. So long as you've submitted your site to Google, or have a few inbound links coming from other related websites, it will get indexed eventually. There's no way to know when though I'm afraid. It can be anything from a few hours up to several weeks. Inbound links from other sites that are regularly re-indexed is the fastest way to speed things along.

July 05, 20128:39 PM
HI, I have a site have already submitted the URL in google add URl.Only problem with my site is when i am typing my site its not showing the related options of my site.suppose i will type then also not showing the related option.I just need to type the site fully then only it will show.Please help when google has indexed my site then why its not showing. Srikant
September 19, 201210:06 PM
My site is indexed by google but does not show in searches. Is there something that needs to be changed in the keywords? Also, google webmasters shows that there is duplicate title and shows 2 links / and default.aspx although there are no links for 2 pages.

October 10, 201210:57 PM
My site has been line for two and a half years and has a lot of content relating to sports books, all of it unique, original materially written by me. I am a professional journalist and without wishing to sound immodest, I can say that the articles are of a high standard. Yet if I search for anything I have written about on Google I never come anywhere near page 1 in the results. In fact I am usually so far down the list I give up before I get there. There is no problem with indexing. If I search by the name of the site I come up at the top. I have to admit that I started the site in the hope of generating income from Amazon, with whom I have an affiliate account. Every piece I write contains at least two links to Amazon and my link lists in the sidebars also link to Amazon. Yet it is not just a bunch of links; there is also a lot of informative content. Could it be, though, that because there are so many links to Amazon, Google thinks I am just some of portal for Amazon and that the site has no other value? I have started to insert rel="nofollow" into all of the links in the hope that this makes a difference, but I don't know whether this will make any difference. I just wondered if anyone can offer any advice. Does it make a difference that the site is essentially a Blogger blog? Many thanks Jon
October 10, 201211:19 PM
Hi Jonathan Google LOVES blogs of all types, including Blogger blogs. So don't worry about that. Obviously I can only offering my opinion, for what it's worth. You appear to have very few back links to your website. Do you communicate much with other bloggers, or follow any other related blogs? It's often easier to get those precious back links if your in regular contact with like minded bloggers and occasionally offering up some content they might like to direct their readers too? I've made no attempt thus far to digest your content in any way, but do you frequently publish what might be considered to be link bait? If you do, how do you let others know that it's there? By that of course I mean others who could create links to it. e.g. Other bloggers, again. Lastly, yes, you do have significant numbers of Amazon links. That in itself isn't necessarily an issue. However, as I navigate around your blog site it quickly becomes apparent that I'm seeing largely (or is it entirely?) the same link content surrounding the genuine content on every page? Are you familiar with the Google Penguin update (April 2012)? You could well be falling foul of it. The rel="nofollow" addition is a good move for sure, but I would be concerned that it's the vast amount of content (links to Amazon) surrounding your unique content that's the problem. I hope that makes sense? Best Mark McNeece
October 11, 201212:57 AM
Thanks Mark. I appreciate you taking the trouble to reply so soon. No, I'm not familiar with the Google Penguin update, but I will make it my business to look it up. The sidebar (left and right column) content appears on every page by default on Blogger, and therefore alongside every post. Could you explain more why that might be a problem? Or would the Penguin update make that clear? I've no-followed every link in those columns. Thanks Jon
October 11, 20129:27 AM
Hi Jonathan. Sorry, my goof, I meant the "Panda" update from Google. That's what happens when I stay up past my bed time! If you look up information on the aim of the Panda update you'll quickly start to see why I flagged it as a possible issue. Feel free to contact me directly for a chat if you like. My number's on the contact page. Best, Mark
February 26, 20139:18 AM
Dear Mark, I bought a domain name in November which did show up my website on google. I changed it from a moonfruit site to a WIX site recently and now I can't find myself at all when I search for me. Is there anything you can suggest to raise my SEO profile. WIX had some suggestions which I have done. I have also searched for the URL on google doing a site: search and my old website, but now blank comes up. Any suggestions? Catherine
March 01, 20134:11 PM
Hi Catherine Register for Google Webmaster Tools, and add the site. It might take a few days for it to collect any useful information, but it should give you an indication of any problems. Best, Mark
jim park said,
April 14, 201312:59 AM
Hi mark With a limited knowledge on website building and seo I set up my site for my business and added the URL to google,yahoo & msn. On google my website shows when I type in nearly my full URL but not my keywords or business name. Any info or suggestions you could give me on improving my seo would be much appreciated!!! Cheers jim
April 15, 20134:21 PM
Hi Jim, It can take time Jim. I had a quick look at the site you've built with the VistaPrint system. It's a simple site and shoudn't pose a problem for indexing - just be patient. Best, Mark

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Why does my website not show up in Google? - FAQ and Answer